Hollow Earth Theory

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An Illustration from an 1878 book on John Cleves Symmes, Jr.’s theories depicts the planet as a series of concentric spheres, “demonstrating that the Earth is hollow, habitable within, and widely open about the poles.”

The Hollow Earth Theory is a concept or conspiracy theory that proposes the earth is a hollow shell with openings at the poles rather than a solid sphere.


Some have embraced this theory, seeing it as a way to challenge mainstream scientific theories and promote alternative explanations for the natural world.

The earth, according to proponents of the hollow earth theory, is hollow and has a number of habitable openings at the poles. These openings are said to be the gateway to a vast underground world teeming with mysterious and exotic creatures. Some believe the earth's interior is home to a race of advanced beings who live in a paradise-like environment, while others believe it is home to ancient civilizations and advanced technologies that have been hidden from the rest of the world. mainstream science, and scientists have thoroughly debunked it.

One of the main arguments put forward by proponents of the hollow earth theory is that it can explain certain anomalies and mysteries that have puzzled scientists for centuries. For example, some claim that the theory can explain the aurora borealis, the mysterious lights that are sometimes seen in the night sky at high latitudes. Others argue that the theory can help to explain why the earth's gravity is not evenly distributed and why certain areas of the globe are subject to extreme weather patterns.

The crux of the hollow earth theory is that the earth is a shell with walls about 800 miles thick. In the polar regions there are holes 1400 miles across, with edges that curve smoothly from the outside of the shell around to the inside. A sea or surface traveler could proceed over an edge of the hole, like an ant crawling over the lip of a coffee mug from the outside to the inside, and not be aware that he was actually entering the interior of the earth. Bernard explains that the holes have never been seen from the air because pilots are fooled by their compasses into believing that they are crossing the pole, when they are actually following the hole's "magnetic rim". Thus aircraft never really fly over the geographic poles, which naturally mark the centers of the holes themselves. As irrefutable proof of his claim, he cites Admiral Byrd's[1] statement, "I'd like to see that land beyond the Pole. That area beyond the Pole is the Great Unknown." The hollow earth theory actually seems to have been originated in the early 1800s by John Symmes, an earnest American who devoted the greater part of his later life to convincing the world that the earth was formed by a series of concentric shells. Symmes believed that there were miles of wondrous unclaimed domain beneath our feet, with lush vegetation and fish and game for the taking. Apparently, there were those who took him seriously. As reported in the October 1882 issue of Harper's New Monthly Magazine, a Mr. Howgate had recently been in the news, proposing that an expedition be made to discover "Symmes' Hole." His plan was to have a number of men acclimate themselves to higher and higher latitudes, moving further north each year. They were to observe the animals that presumably wintered over within the earth each year and emerged during the spring to bear young. Eventually, the colony of men were to follow the animals in the fall to find where they entered into that marvelous land at the center of the earth.[2]

In conclusion, the hollow earth theory is a theory that suggests that the earth is not a solid sphere, but rather a hollow shell with openings at the poles. While it has been embraced by some in the conservative community as a way to challenge mainstream scientific theories, it is not supported by mainstream science.

Further reading

  • Halley, E.[3] (1692). An Account of the Cause of the Change of the Variation of the Magnetic Needle; with an Hypothesis of the Structure of the Internal Parts of the Earth. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, 16: 576-590.
    • Some years since I published in these Transactions, (Numb. 148.) a Theory of the Variation of the Magnetical Compass, wherein having collected as many Observations as at that time I could procure, and having carefully compared them together, I came at length to this general conclusion, That the Globe of the Earth might be supposed to be on great Magnet, having four Magnetical Poles or Points of Attraction, near each Pole of the Equator two.
  • Symmes, John C., The Symmes theory of concentric spheres, demonstrating that the earth is hollow, habitable within, and widely open about the poles. Compiled by Americus Symmes from the writings of his father, Capt. John Cleves Symmes. [2d ed.] Louisville, Ky., Printed by Bradley & Gilbert, 1878 [1885]
  • Lang, Johannes. Einführung in die Hohlwelttheorie. Frankfurt am Main, Schirmer & Mahlau, 1939
  • Jan Udo Holey: Die innere Welt. Das Geheimnis der Schwarzen Sonne, Ama Deus Verlag, 1998 (read online)
  • Knapp, G. (2018). The Hollow Earth Theory: A Modern Day Myth. Live Science. Retrieved from https://www.livescience.com/63192-hollow-earth-theory.html.
  • National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). (n.d.). Is the Earth Hollow? NASA. Retrieved from https://www.nasa.gov/audience/forstudents/k-4/stories/nasa-knows/what-is-earth-hollow-k4.html.

External links

The Library of Congress


  1. Richard Evelyn Byrd Jr. (25 October 1888 – 11 March 1957) was an American naval officer, explorer, pioneering American aviator, polar explorer, and organizer of polar logistics. Aircraft flights in which he served as a navigator and expedition leader crossed the Atlantic Ocean, a segment of the Arctic Ocean, and a segment of the Antarctic Plateau. Byrd said that his expeditions had been the first to reach both the North Pole and the South Pole by air. His belief to have reached the North Pole is disputed.
  2. The Hollow Earth Theory, Geophysical Institute, 1985
  3. Edmond (or Edmund) Halley FRS (1656 – 1742) was an English astronomer, mathematician and physicist. He was the second Astronomer Royal in Britain, succeeding John Flamsteed in 1720. Beginning in 1698, Halley made sailing expeditions and made observations on the conditions of terrestrial magnetism. In 1718, he discovered the proper motion of the "fixed" stars.